The Green Frog Service
London, Cacklegoose Press in association with the State Hermitage, St Petersburg 1995
416 pages, 60 colour plates, approx. 1,350 illustrations in black-and-white. Cloth binding in laminated full-colour dust jacket. Numbered limited edition. number 537. Commissioned and produced in 1773-4 for Catherine the Great of Russia, the Service was destined for a 'palace' she was building in English Gothick style between St Petersburg and her summer residence at Tsarskoe Selo. Surrounded by marshes, the palace was known as La Grenouillère, hence the device of a bright green frog that appears on every piece of the Service. The Empress particularly asked for views of landscape gardens, and many of the finest gardens in Britain are depicted, together with a great array of 'Antiquities' – ruined castles and abbeys, old manor houses, Cornish dolmens – as well as romantic landscapes, views on the Thames at London and even early industrial sites. This commemorative book, which was published in 1995 to mark the 200th anniversary of Wedgwood's. It presents for the first time the entire Service in colour and monochrome plates, with over 350 large detailed illustrations, 60 colour plates and more than 1,000 reference illustrations, with entries on each of the places depicted. It also includes essays on the making and decorating of the Service, the remarkable history of its survival in Russia, and on Catherine the Great's passion for things English. . Amongst landscapes and country houses featured are Stowe, Blenheim and Alnwick Castle for instance.